Garden Lodge a great stop for self-drive travellers wishing to visit Chobe & Victoria Falls.
Garden Lodge: Our full report
The Garden Lodge is a small guesthouse in the town of Kasane, Botswana, which borders the Chobe National Park. A combination of beautiful flowers like hibiscus, frangipani and bougainvillea; tropical plants including banana and paw paw trees; and the riverside location make this a lovely tranquil spot to spend a few days.
This area of Chobe National Park can be very busy. There are numerous large hotels in Kasane which utilise the park and the river and so, at the height of the season, this area can all seem a bit like a circus. The garden lodge is a small haven of tranquility among the chaos, and a delightful spot for a few days in Kasane.
The Garden Lodge has just eight rooms – five doubles and three family rooms. The family rooms have upstairs verandas which look out over the Chobe River. The rooms are all broadly similar, but one room is smaller than the rest. All rooms are furnished mostly in white, giving them a cool feel, plus there’s air conditioning, a fan, a safe, a hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. The rooms have a cosy feel – like staying in a someone’s home.
Each room has an en suite bathroom and a private verandah overlooking the Chobe River. The bathrooms have showers rather than baths.
The communal areas at The Garden Lodge include a bar, which is known as the map room due to the variety of maps on the walls, a swimming pool and a lounge and dining room. As the name suggests, the guesthouse is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which slopes down to the riverside.
Although it is possible for guests to explore Chobe National Park and the surrounding areas in their own vehicle, The Garden Lodge offers a range of activities which are worth considering. The favourite options are safari drives in Chobe National Park in open 4WD vehicles and a boat cruise on the Chobe River. These are usually morning and afternoon activities; however, The Garden Lodge can be flexible in their timings depending on their guests needs.
The Chobe River is a tributary of the Zambezi River and both waterways are known for their sizeable tiger fish. The Garden Lodge offers fishing excursions and supplies all the tackle required to catch these game fish. Any fishing from the guesthouse is operated on a catch and release basis. It is also possible to visit one of the villages across the river in Namibia. The guide would take you from Botswana to Namibia by dug-out canoe and then show you through the villages on foot.
Our viewUnlike many other Kasane lodges, the Garden Lodge is a small guesthouse which offers tranquility and personalised service. Their activities have some flexibility, and it is a great stop for travellers on a self-drive safari wishing to visit Chobe before heading to Victoria Falls.
Directions: The Garden Lodge is situated in the centre of Kasane town and is easily reached by self-drive or by transfer after visiting the Victoria Falls in Zambia, or other safari camps in Botswana.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Phil and Gabi
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Meals are enjoyed around one big table where guests can swap travel tales. Each day a choice of continental or English breakfast is offered. Lunches are usually a buffet including a choice of hot dishes, salads, cold meats and cheeses. Dinner is a set menu, although the guesthouse is always happy to cater for individual dietary requirements provided they know about them in advance.
On our last visit to the Garden Lodge we stopped by for lunch. A delicious buffet spread of pasta bake, salads, fruit, rice salad and bread was on offer. It was all very fresh, and very tasty.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome here.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at the Garden Lodge.
Special activities & services: There are no particular activities for children.
Equipment: Small beds can be added to the family rooms.
Generally recommended for children: Yes – the lodge has three family rooms and children will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, and of course the pool.
Notes: Hippos sometimes come up on to the lawn by the river, so children should be supervised at all times, especially in this area.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: Always on
Communications: WiFi is available in the main area, and there’s a computer with free internet access for guest use. There is also good phone signal here.
TV & radio: None
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The lodge has a first aid kit and links to a local doctor in Kasane.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: The lodge is gated and guarded.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are dotted around the lodge.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is included.
Money: All currencies are accepted, including Namibian dollars (unusual for a lodge outside Namibia).
Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted.